We Believe That The Divine is both Male and Female

We Believe That The Divine is both Male and Female

 

We believe this is equal and in balance, and that we should seek that balance in ourselves and in our lives. Put simply, this means that we believe in the Goddess and the God, and they may be referred to by many names according to the needs of the individual or indeed their personal preference. It helps to think of the Divine as being like a mirror ball, with each facet having a different identity, although all are part of the Divine. As a result you may find that the Goddess is referred to as Isis. Astarte or Hecate, for example, and the God referred to as Osiris. Hernes or Pan, and so on. Some Witches will simply refer to the Lord and Lady or the Goddess and the God, and these are the terms that I will use in this blog. Others will call them the Old One or the Old Gods, or even just the Gods.

The Goddess is seen as having three aspects. Maiden, Mother and Crone (or Wise One). These aspects are reflected in the cycle of the Moon, and in our daily lives, for everything has its beginning, middle and closing phases.

The God also has different aspects but these are more clearly defined through the festivals of the seasons and the Wheel of the Year.

The Chicken or the Egg

The Chicken or the Egg

Author: BellaDonna Saberhagen 

Who created whom? Did the gods create man or did man create the gods? This question was posed on a podcast. The host invited responses to his opinion, however, I’m new to listening to podcasts and was listening to back episodes that are over a year old. He eloquently stated that humans couldn’t have created beings that are strong enough to have created the universe. I don’t disagree with that; what I do disagree with is that gods automatically must have the power to do so (or have that power at all) . The host is a soft-polytheist. He even quoted the axiom “All gods are one God and all goddesses are one Goddess” in support of his argument. If you’ve read my previous article, you will know that I’m a hard-polytheist. While numerous mythologies have creation myths, I don’t choose to subscribe to any of them. I take them as attempts by ancient peoples to understand the origins of the universe, the world and themselves.

Science has come a long way, and if you accept the sound scientific theories regarding the origins of the universe and man, then the need for a Creator/Creatrix god or goddess is unnecessary. This removes the problem the podcast host had of “humans unable to create the creator.” There is no creator; before the universe was there was only energy. This energy was just energy; it had no consciousness, no will. The purpose of this article is not to quantify this energy, but let’s suffice to say that it is the energy that connects us all.

What if this energy is the same energy that we use in magick to manifest change? If it is, then humans are obviously able to program it and form it according to their will. Many Witches and Magicians create Artificial Elementals to go forth and do work the Witch or Magician cannot do themselves. This is directly counter to the idea that humans cannot create beings from this energy (and the idea the podcast host had of humans not being able to create things greater than themselves) . Now, typically, Artificial Elementals are (and should be) given an expiration date; but that does not mean that all things created through the mental focus of man have one; and this is where the creation of gods comes in.

I’m not one to believe that everything exists on some part of the astral plane. I don’t think Hogwarts is there, just waiting to be explored. I know there are some Pagans (and New Agers) who believe this, but I have to hope that these are few and far between. I can’t really say what quality or quantity of belief is required to make a thought-form a god or goddess. I do believe it’s more difficult than just two or three people fervently believing in the god/desshood of some entity; and I do believe it is a higher quality of adoration than millions of fans squeeing over Edward Cullen. However, just because I can’t put forth an exact number of believers or define the level of fervor of belief does not mean that it is untrue. It simply means that it is currently immeasurable by science, as most spiritual things are. Could you accurately measure the qualities of the Creator/Creatrix deity you believe in (in scientific terms) ? No. The theory that man created the gods is still a matter of faith, a more scientific view of it, but more a matter of faith nonetheless.

Another argument put forth is that a Creator/Creatrix must be infallible, and man cannot create anything infallible. Again, remove the concept of a divine creator and look at the myths again. The gods ARE fallible. Zeus cheats on his wife more than Tiger Woods, Hera’s jealousy knows no bounds, Hephaestus was born deformed, Hod was born blind (and killed his brother Baldr) , Lir married a woman who turned his children into swans for 900 years out of jealously, and Frigga forgot to get the promise of mistletoe not to harm Baldr (again, leading to his death) . Lust, jealousy, deformity, handicaps, forgetfulness: these gods have very human characteristics, but on a larger, more epic scale. Humans can’t create infallible gods not only because “they just can’t”, but because fallible humans can’t relate to something infallible and vice versa. How many problems in Biblical myths occur because the Judeo-Christian God cannot relate to the fallibility of his creation (…Not that he is really infallible; after all, why would an infallible god have a fallible creation) ? This is why the construct of a “savior” was necessary.

You want further evidence that man creates gods? I’ll give you two examples commonly worshipped as “aspects” of “The Goddess” (or as goddesses in their own right) by modern Pagans: Cerridwen and Blodeuwedd.

Many Wiccans, Cerridwen see as a purely Celtic edition of the “ancient” (Don’t get mad here; the ancientness of Wicca has long been disproven) Wiccan Triple Goddess (See Janet and Stewart Fararr’s A Witches’ Bible and Raven Grimassi’s TheWiccan Mysteries) with strong connections to witchcraft due to her having the Cauldron of Inspiration and the ability to shapeshift. I will agree that this spirit had something to do with magick and inspiration, but there is no historical record or anthropological evidence showing she was worshipped as a goddess (as far as I know) . However, she is now counted among the ranks of the Welsh Celtic pantheon by most modern Pagans (but not Celtic Reconstructionists, they only worship those that were historically given that honor) and given due worship as such.

Here, I can understand why. Cerridwen is very powerful (superhuman) , and while there are no records of her worship, it may be that the Romans didn’t take a fancy to her (This is how we tend to tell the heroes and fairies from the gods in Celtic mythology, the Romans equating local gods with their own) and the Celts did not write her down as such (They wrote down very little, so this is understandable) . Her cult may have been isolated, or maybe she was just being formed as a goddess then and has been solidified as such in more modern times.

Even more puzzling is Blodeuwedd, another Welsh mythological figure modernly called a goddess by some (She is insinuated to be the patron goddess of Wales in Catrin James’ Celtic Faery Shamanism) . She is frequently listed on “god/dess lists” found in so many Pagan books (The problem with these lists is that they give the reader spheres of influence of specific deities without any real mythological information to back up such claims) , but her myth leaves something to be desired when it comes to seeing her as such.

An example of how she is seen by some modern practitioners is taken from The Modern Day Druidess by Cassandra Eason: “The Welsh maiden Lunar Goddess, created from flowers, Goddess of early summer and Blossoming Earth.” The only thing taken directly from her myth is “created from flowers”, and one has to ask, how can a being created from flowers be a Goddess of the Moon? For those of you unfamiliar with her actual myth, I’ll sum it up for you: Lleu Llaw Gyffes’ mother cursed him that he may not have a wife of human or fairy stock, so some druids got together and created Blodeuwedd from flowers to be his wife. She was unfaithful to him and conspired with her lover to murder him. The plot failed. For her crimes, she was changed into an owl for all eternity. Doesn’t sound like the makings of a goddess, does it? However, I think she was latched onto as a feminist role-model or archetype since she was not content with the lot she was given and did something about it. I can’t say I agree personally with her modern goddesshood, but I can see how some might do so for the aforementioned reason.

These two examples show how mythological figures can become gods through the belief and personal gnosis of modern Pagans.* Am I saying that Edward Cullen is likely to become a god anytime soon? No, that is unlikely because while his sparkle-loving fan base may WANT him to be real, they don’t BELIEVE he is real. Even if they could believe him into existence, they don’t see him as a god, but as a vampire (Maybe as the hottest vampire to ever “live”, but still just a vampire –Personally, I think Spike from Buffy is hotter, but to each their own) . That makes all the difference.

 

_____________________________________________

Footnotes:
* In a future article, I will discuss how this theory specifically affects the soft-polytheist versus the hard-polytheist argument.

Sources:
A Witches’ Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar.
The Wiccan Mysteries by Raven Grimassi.
The Modern Day Druidess by Cassandra Eason.
The Mabinogion

BELIEFS OF GODDESS WORSHIP

BELIEFS OF GODDESS WORSHIP

Christianity teaches that God is transcendent, is separate from nature, and is represented to humankind through masculine imagery. Witchcraft holds a
pantheistic view of God. God is nature, therefore God is in all things and all things are a part of God. However, this God is in actuality a goddess.

A fundamental belief in Goddess Worship is the idea that the goddess predates
the male God. The goddess is the giver of all life and is found in all of
creation. The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy,and our anger as purifying. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength,enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions.

The modern Goddess movement is an attempt to integrate the feminine back into
the world as we know it. This means bringing the Goddess out of the shadows and back into the limelight where she belongs. Part of most modern Goddess
traditions is the idea that Goddess exists within and around everything in
creation. Therefore, if Goddess is sacred, then so is the Earth, so our bodies, etc. Moreover, the relationship between all of these things is equally sacred. Therefore, not only do we need to revere the creations of the Goddess, we must revere the relationship and the systems that Goddess has created, for they each have their purpose. The problem is that we don’t always know what the true system is anymore because our society is so corrupted by the patriarchy. For example, if we only examine the system as it exists today, we might come to the conclusion that women’s place within the system is necessarily subservient to the men in the system. Naturally, eco-feminists would laugh at this idea. First of all, eco-feminism maintains that the natural order of things is not linked by hierarchical value, so the very notion of men governing women is absurd. The nature of things would require reciprocal communication and integral networking.

In light of this, then, Goddess religion asserts that Goddess and God cannot be viewed separately, but rather as a network of energies that work together to better the entire network.

Goddess Archetypes:

THE MAIDEN
The Maiden is the first aspect of the Goddess, presented to us as a young woman,blossoming into womanhood, exploring her sexuality and learning of her beauty.She is most often depicted as a teenaged girl or a woman in her very early twenties.

Unlike the images of young women in many patrifocal religions, the Maiden is not necessarily depicted as a virgin in most Goddess traditions. In Catholicism,Mary is depicted not only as a virgin maiden, but continues to be a virgin throughout the duration of her lifetime, regardless of the fact that she was married and gave birth to a child. This has more to do with the taint patrifocal religions assign female sexuality than anything else. But because women’s sexuality is not denigrated in Goddess traditions, there is no need to associate virginity with the Maiden Goddess.

In fact, the Maiden Goddess is seen as a particularly sexual being. Because she has just bloomed into her womanly form, she is particularly interested in her body and what it can do. She is interested in her beauty, and she learns to manipulate the affections of other’s based upon her feminine wiles.

Some might take offense at my use of the word manipulate in the preceding
sentence, but in fact, that is what sexuality is about, both on the part of the male and the female. Flirtation, courting and other manners of getting the
attentions of the opposite sex is certainly a form of manipulation. It is not
manipulation with malicious intent, to be sure, but when you attempt to curb the attitudes or thoughts of others through your own appearance or behavior, this is a form of manipulation, and by no means negative.

Because the Maiden is associated with the first blossoming of womanhood,
adulthood and sexuality, she is associated with the Springtime. Just as her body develops breasts and she becomes sexually capable, so too does the Earth mimic her development. Flowers bloom, the Earth awakens from the deep sleep of winter and begins to procreate again. Animals lie with one another, flowers are pollinated. Spring is a time for new beginnings. It is the counterpart to the winter of Death.

Just as Spring is the counter to Winter, so too is the Maiden the counter to the Crone. The Crone is the embodiment of death, and subsequently rebirth, and it is through the aspect of the Maiden that the Crone is able to pass from this world and be reborn. As the young Goddess delves into her sexuality, and eventually becomes pregnant, the Elder Goddess may pass away and give her life that the Maiden may become Mother, and one day, Crone. The cycle is never ending.

The Maiden takes the Green Man (Horned Lord, many other names in many other
cultures) as her consort. In some cultures, the Green Man may be her brother or even her son. At first glance, the courtship between the Maiden and the Sun God seems ripe with incest, because he is always somehow related to her. But if you read the myths associated with the Mother Goddess and how it came to pass that she became pregnant, you will usually find that she became pregnant by her husband, who has to give his life for one reason or another, and she agrees to bring him back into he world as the child in her womb. In essence, she gives birth to her husband, rather than taking her son as her lover. This is even true in the Catholic goddess vision: Jesus was the son of God, but he was also God. Because this idea is confusing and can lead to ideas of incest much like I discussed above, the Christian church left Mary a virgin, thus bypassing the whole sexual encounter, and thus the issue of incest altogether.

Maiden Goddess of Note include:
Diana, Persephone, Kore, Bleudowedd, Artemis, Ariadne, Hestia,
Athena, Aphrodite, Minerva, and Venus.

THE MOTHER
The aspect of the Mother Goddess is probably the most widely known and most
widely envisioned in most cultures. Because the Earth nourishes and replenishes us, most goddess cultures did pay reverence to the Earth as the Mother, and therefore the Goddesses that are most prominent and about whom stories are most prolific are the goddesses that are the representation of the Mother.

She is, in virtually every aspect, a divine or celestial representation of our earthly mothers. Everyone has an earthly mother, or at least did at one point, so we readily understand the relationship between mother and child. The mother is the protector, the care-giver, the kisser of wounds, and the disciplinarian.

The Divine Mother is no different.

Many of the most ancient goddess figures that archeology has uncovered are
goddesses depicted as round, pregnant women. They feature large breasts and
full, meaty hips. Some archeologists (patriarchal, close minded fellows, to be sure) have written these goddess figures off as nothing more than prehistoric “porn” figures. However, the generally accepted opinion is that these figures, found in such places as France, modern day Turkey, and Egypt, are actually representations of a mother goddess. There is some speculation that perhaps these figures are not goddesses at all, but rather figures used in fertility rites to enable women to conceive children. This too is a possibility, but when combined with other information that we have (such as other evidence of prehistoric goddess worship, and the fact that the connection between sex and pregnancy was not made until much later than the dates associated with these figures) leads most scholars to believe that these statues are indeed goddess representations.

Although the depiction of the Mother Goddess as a pregnant woman is prominent, she is certainly not always seen that way. The Mother aspect may be seen with small child in tow (most often a boy, who later becomes her consort, as is discussed in the section on the Maiden). This aspect of the Mother Goddess plays on the care-giving, sweet, loving aspect of the Goddess. However, do not be fooled into thinking that the Goddess as Mother is a pussy cat. She can also be a warrior.

Like earthly mothers, the Goddess is fiercely protective of her children, and in order to provide that protection she will often don the face of the warrior. The Warrior Goddess most probably gained popularity among people who had begun to adopt a more patriarchal (or at least patrifocal) structure. It might be presumptuous to say that matrifocal cultures were not particularly warlike, but it is safe to say that patriarchal cultures were more so. In either case, the warrior Goddess did become popular. In this aspect she is Amazon, fierce and strong, and able to take on any man to protect what needs protection.

Just as the maiden is represented by the season of Spring, the Mother aspect is present in Summer. By summer, berries and fruits are ripe, ready for the
plucking. Vegetable gardens are mature and harvest is close at hand. The sun is high in the sky, and even though the sun is typically seen as a Male Deity, some cultures did associate the sun with the Goddess, (most notably the early Egyptian culture) and thus the high sun of summer was associated with the Mother, who was also seen as the pinnacle of the cycle of life.

In western traditions, the Goddess remains pregnant until the Winter Solstice, at which time she gives birth to a sun god of some kind. (Note the adaptation of the Christian church …Christmas, anyone?) The Catholic Goddess Mary also falls into the category of the Mother Goddess, because she does give birth to King at Solstice. (At least this is how the Christians celebrate the holiday, even though biblical scholars suggest Jesus was very likely born during a warm month)

Mary is a curiosity though, because she is a Dual Goddess, and not a Triple
Goddess as most multifaceted Goddesses are. She is a maiden because she remains a virgin (and though not all maidens are virgins, all virgin goddesses are maidens), and yet because she gives birth, she is also a Mother. However, there is no reference in the Catholic tradition of Mary as an older woman. Therefore, Mary’s development ended with her at the Mother phase.

Mother Goddesses of Note include:
Demeter, Isis, Cerridwyn, Kali, Gaia, Oceana, Brigit, Nuit, Hera,
Selene, Anu, Dana, Arianrhod, and Epona

THE CRONE
The Crone is the final aspect of the Goddess. The Crone is most often depicted as a Grandmother, a SageWoman, or a Midwife. She is the keeper of Occult Knowledge, the Mysteries and the Queen of the Underworld. It is through the Crone that knowledge of magick, the Dark, and other secrets of the ages are passed down.

The Crone is, in some ways, a Triple Goddess herself. She has lived through the tender, sensual age of Maidenhood, suffered the birth pains of Motherhood, and now carries with her the memories of these passages into her old age. But though she has experienced these events, these are not the things she represents, and therefore she is not revered for these traits. Nevertheless, having endured these experiences makes her the wise woman that she is, and enables her to guide us through the dark.

Her role as Midwife is both symbolic as well as actual. Traditionally, it is
always the older women of the tribe who facilitate the birth of children, most likely because they themselves had gone through, but also because the role of midwife was a sacred position, and thus suitable for an older tribeswoman. Certainly the Crone fulfills this aspect in that she is the midwife to the Queen of Heaven when she gives birth to the Oak King at Yule.

But symbolically she is the midwife in our lives as well, guiding us from one
phase of life to the next. If you see progression from one phase of life to the next and can see it as a rebirth process, then envision the Crone as the aspect of the goddess that guides you through that time. Transition is very difficult, and for most people it is a time of darkness. It is a time where we have to rely on our intuition, because we are unfamiliar with the territory. But according to the myths and ancient lore, we receive our intuition from the Crone. It is she who guides us, and it is she who facilitates our birth.

The Crone Goddess is often times the least seen, because she does represent
death, and with death comes fear: fear of the unknown, fear of losing our loved ones, and fear of being alone. But we must remember that with death always comes rebirth. The Crone always brings with her promises of the Maiden, and the cycle never ends.

The Mother aspect of the Goddess is discussed as being a Warrior Goddess, but
the Crone can be a Warrior Goddess as well. Where the Mother Goddess is the
blood of battle, the War Cry incarnate, the fighting Amazon, the Crone is the
Strategy, the ability to see what cannot be seen. She is the seer, the General. The Crone Goddess does not don the face of the warrior to shed blood, but she will provide the courage to walk through the dark, the ability to seek and destroy the enemy, whether the enemy is actual, or internal.

In many respects, the Crone Goddess is the aspect of the Goddess that is most
called upon to conquer inner demons. This is due to the fact that as the keeper of mysteries, the Crone is also the Keeper of the Underworld. With her help, we are able to travel into the Underworld and fight whatever demons haunt us. Likewise, once we are ready to be reborn, she again acts as the midwife and guides us once again into the light.

Crone Goddesses of Note include:
Hecate, Kali, Cerridwyn, Badb, Cailleach, Macha, and the Morrigan

written by susan lucas

I Left Wicca. I Came Back. So Can You.

I Left Wicca. I Came Back. So Can You.

Author:   Bliss Diva   

Incense wafts around me as I lift the dragon letter opener I’m using as an athame. The candlelight flickers around the room as I invoke the elements, call the Goddess and God, and settle into a comfortable spot in my circle for my pathworking. The wind howls outside, sending snow whipping onto my window, and I smile – I can feel the divinity and magic in the air around me. Everything is wild and mysterious and I feel so intimately connected to everything around me – I’ve never felt anything like this before. I feel so complete – and I’m only thirteen years old.

…fast forward a year and a half. I’m in a circle in the forest with three friends – the setting sun’s colors filter through the trees above us as we connect our hands. I’m the only ‘experienced’ one among us, so I let them know what to do. We begin to walk in a circle, chanting in unison: “Hecate, Hecate, Hearken well: lend your power to our spell; Hecate, Hecate, Hearken well: help us do our magick well.” Faster and faster we spun, our voices weaving into the branches above us. The world twirled, the air seemed to buzz, and suddenly, without any prompting at all, we stopped chanting and circling and threw our hands into the air – sending the energy into the universe above us, our wishes sent into the world. We stood there a moment, breathing deeply. Then, we collapsed giggling to the earth so we could ground. Everything was perfect. Everything was right. We made magick.

…speed up again. My Book of Shadows hasn’t been opened in several weeks. A thin layer of dust is on my altar. As I rush to put on my prom dress, I realize I forgot all about Imbolc, and Ostara, and the full moon the week before. I look guiltily at my altar, shrug, and walk out for a night of dancing with my friends – and hopefully, my crush.

..and again. I’m packing boxes. Pulling unused items from the corners of my room to either give away or put in storage. I find the stack of my old Book of Shadows on the bottom of my bookshelf. I sit on my carpet, and gaze at them in my hand. I feel a fleeting twinge in my heart, and then set the stack in a cardboard box, next to my other old journals. The box goes back into the closet, with the others. I turn to my travel backpack and begin to sort things to put in there. My hand, rustling through my jewelry box, touches my pentacle. I pick it up and watch it glint in the light. The writing around the edge reads, “I am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars.” I feel the twinge in my heart again, and decide to put it in among the few pieces of jewelry I was deciding to bring.

Just in case.

~*~

That was a year ago. Yes, I traveled. I met many people, and continue to do so. I delved deep into myself and discovered. And yet, I still felt a restlessness.

I was living in tropical paradise on the east coast of Australia – as I am now, for the next few weeks before I leave once more to travel. My life has been perfect – everything I dreamed it would be, ever since I was eight years old.

And yet. And yet.

I woke in the middle of the night, not understanding why I did not feel complete. Was it because I didn’t like the housekeeping job I was doing? No, that wasn’t it. Was it because I wasn’t writing as much on my blog as I would like to? No, that wasn’t it, either. Was it because I missed my family and friends? I missed them, but that wasn’t what was causing the restlessness, either.

I wrote to my darling soul sisters in the Goddess Circle over at leoniedawson.com. I told these beautiful hearts what was rustling deep in my soul, seeking their guidance and womanly advice. I got many replies, and many pieces of advice, and I pondered on it all.

And then, one night, I knew.

I found myself thinking of the spirituality I had spent my adolescence in. I’m now 19 years old – it has been six years since I first discovered Wicca. I remained in that path until I was about 16, after which, I chose not to identify as Wiccan. Why? What turned me away from that religion that made me feel so complete, so wonderful?

I felt shunned and misunderstood and judged by other Wiccans. Nothing I did was right – whatever I believed or practiced, I wasn’t doing it right, I wasn’t a real Wiccan, I was a fluff bunny, I need to do this this way and that that way, you’re harming the earth because you want to learn to drive, you’re harming this and that and this and that…on and on and on. No matter how serious I was, no matter how hard I tried to be intelligent and educated and learned in Wicca, I was judged for one small reason: I was a teenager. at 13, 14, 15, 16 years old, I was considered not smart enough, not mature enough. I was a teenager, thus I was just getting into it because I was “power-hungry” or wanted to be “cool” and I basically was, according to all the adult Wiccans I met, not “serious.”

I heard those things so often that I believed them. So I stopped indentifying as Wiccan. I stopped practicing what made me feel so alive. I continued to pray to the Goddess, and occasionally meditate, but that was the extent of my spiritual practice – even though I wanted desperately, deep within, to again do what made me feel so wonderful.

Eventually, that need got buried so deep I stopped consciously feeling it, even when I connected with some Pagans during my time in Western Australia.

But now.

The restlessness began growing as I began to blog more – as I began to get a grip on what life I truly wanted to make for myself; that is, a life in which my job is doing something I love, and making enough money from it to support my travelling. In my pursuit to create a quality blog with quality posts, I had to dig deep into myself and my Self, in order to write passionately and authentically.

And, in digging, I found a box I had forgotten, in the corner of the closet of my childhood room.

There is a lot of articles all over the internet, and on Witchvox, and on YouTube, and in books, that are all about “beginning Wicca” and “advanced Wicca” – but what about that in-between place, when all you have is doubt? What about that space in which you step off the path to explore new paths, and find yourself being called back, after all the doubt and fear and confusion and unknown and self-discovery, to your original road? What about that spot in the road that you walk on, far from the part you walked off of? Where are the books and articles for that spot?

Here’s one, among none – one for others who have struggled, walked away, and come back. Here’s one for those who already know the basics by heart, but aren’t quite knowledgeable enough anymore to go to the advanced Wicca.

You aren’t alone, darling.

This one’s for you.

Keep walking. Practice your magick. Do what your heart calls you to do.

I don’t practice the same Wicca I practiced at 13, or 14, or 15, or 16. The Wicca I practice now is gentler and more full of gigglesnorts and soaking my dancing toes in the sea.

You don’t have to practice the same way you did before. You’ve experienced other ways. You’ve seen. You’ve touched. You’ve loved, and hated, and cried, and giggled, and gotten your feet dirty on the dust of other roads.

Bring that wisdom to your new path. You are a bigger person now. You are a more beautiful person now.

The Goddess doesn’t mind if you no longer feel connected to elaborate rituals with lots of trinkets and candles and complicated words. She doesn’t mind if you aren’t vegetarian or an environmentalist. She doesn’t mind if you don’t agree with what other Wiccans say.

She doesn’t mind if the only spiritual thing you do is talk to Her while you walk to work in the morning.

I know She doesn’t mind that I mix up the Southern Hemisphere directions sometimes, and that I giggle when I fart during meditation. I know She doesn’t mind that I’m not into spells and big fancy altars anymore.

The time I had away from Wicca, walking on other paths – the time I had away from it, doubting, questioning, wondering – was exactly what I needed to get perspective on why I loved Wicca.
Wicca wasn’t a phase for me as a teenager. I wasn’t into it for the power, or because it was “cool.”

Wicca attracted me because it spoke to my core. I didn’t always translate it very well, because the jumbled emotions of adolescence got in the way, but what it all comes down to is that it resonated with a deep and wild knowing in my breast.

If you walked away from the path and then came back to it at a different point – there was reason for that. Wicca, in some way, spoke to your core as well – to the la loba sitting in your belly.

The wolf’s ears perked up, and a mischievous grin spread across her lips. Because she knew that you had found what you, your whole life, had been longing for.

Walk away. Come back. And walk away again.

Follow your wild knowing.

________________________________
Footnotes:
leoniedawson.com

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Good Monday Morning, My Dear Family & Friends!


The Childs’ Wonder

“Daddy”, she said, her eyes full of tears,
“will you talk to me and quiet my fears?
Those bad boys at school are spreading a lie
’bout the impossibility of reindeer that fly.
There’s no Santa Claus, they say with a grin there’s not one now and there has never been.
 
How can one man take all of those toys
to thousands of girls and boys?
But I told them Daddy, that they were not right,
that I would come home and find out tonight.
Mama said wait until you come home.
Please tell me now that I was not wrong.”
 
Her Daddy looked at her questioning face
and puffed his pipe while his frantic mind raced.
He had put this off as long as he could,
he had to think fast and it better be good.
Whispering a prayer, he began with a smile,
 
“Remember at circle how we learned to pray,
asking the Goddess to take care of us each day?
And you know how we say a prayer before each meal?
To this same Goddess whom we know to be real.
Though we never see her, we know she is there
watching her children with such loving care.”
 
“The Goddess started Yule a long time ago
when she gave us herself to love and to know.
A spirit of giving came with that gift,
and her generosity filled the whole earth.
Man had to name this spirit of giving
just as he names all things that are living.”
 
“The name Santa Claus came to someone’s mind
probably the best name of any to find.
There is, you can see, and I think quite clear
Truly a Santa who visits each year.
A spirit like the Goddess, whom we never see,
She enters the hearts of your mother and me.”
 
“Each year at Yule for one special night
we become him and make everything right.
But the REAL spirit of Yule is in you and in me
and I hope that you are old enough now to see
that as we believe and continue to give,
our friend Santa Claus will continue to live.”

~Author Unknown~

 

 

The Goddess, The Maiden

The Goddess, The Maiden

 

The second aspect of the Goddess is that of Mother. As previously stated among her names by which she is called are the Great Mother and Mother Nature which signifies her worshippers believe her to be the Mother, creator and life-giver to all of nature and to every thing within.

This at first may seem confusing to many within the Christian Age where the Father God is claimed to be the creator. What many are not aware of, but more are becoming so, is that the world passed through a matriarchal age before the present patriarchal one. There is ample archaeological, historical and anthropological evidence of this. The previously mentioned findings of numerous female figurines and drawings in many locations supports the fact that during such ancient times the female was very honored. The depictions self-fertilization and women giving birth states the Goddess has been very honored for motherhood.

Seas, fountains, ponds and wells were always thought as feminine symbols in archaic religions. Such passages connecting to subterranean water-passages were often thought as leading to the underground womb. Currently science partly substantiates these archaic beliefs. It is known that hugh quantities of microscopic plants and animal live close to the ocean surface. Upon this sea life’s death its shell remains settle to the ocean floor, and when studied through accumulations of sediment core samples, which represent millions of years of sea life, they provide a continuous history of the earth’s environmental stages. To this extent the ocean, which seems to contain the beginning stages of life, may be thought as the Mother’s womb. “And water, like love, was (is) essential to the life-forces of fertility and creativity, without which the psychic world as well as the material world would become an arid desert, the waste land.”

This idea of the Goddess or maternal womb is embedded in history. It was and is symbolized by the ceremonial bowl. When used in the Egyptian temples as the temple basin it was called the shi. In Biblical times it became the brass sea in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). Such bowls or vassals were used for illustrations, baptisms and various purification ceremonies. Although the Christians often fail to disclose that the holy water fount still symbolizes the womb. This symbolically is true since the water is to bestow blessings or grace upon the one which it is sprinkled upon, or who sprinkles it upon himself, and this grace supposedly comes from Jesus Christ who came from the womb of Mary.

Although, in the ancient maternal temples this womb-vessel was very much respected for its inherent fertile power. Its holy waters were revered as they were considered spiritual representing the birth-giving energy of the Goddess.

Throughout the history of Goddess worship, witchcraft, and currently in Neo-pagan witchcraft the cauldon has been a feminine symbol associated with the womb of the Mother Goddess.

All Christian sects have not thought of God as just masculine. This is especially true of the Gnostics. It is in the Apocryphon of John one sees the apostle John grieving after the crucifixion. John was in a “great grief” during which he experienced a mystical vision of the Trinity:

the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which   is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I   was afraid, and I] saw in the light…a likeness with multiple   forms…and the likeness had three forms.

To John’s question of the vision came this answer: “He said to me, ‘John, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid?…I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son.'”

To many this description of the Trinity is shocking, but it need not be. What so many forget, or do not realized is that the New Testament was written in Greek; whereas, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word meaning spirit is ruah having a feminine gender, but the Greek word for spirit is pneuma having a neuter gender. Thus the Greek language, or to be more specific a change in language when writing the New Testament, virtually made the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, asexual. It also, when accepted by the orthodox Christian Church, eliminated any femininity concept of God. Also Mary is held to have remained a virgin by Catholics and some Christians because Matthew in his gospel used the Greek word parthenos, meaning “virgin,” instead of almah when referring to the virgin birth of Jesus. But, the Gnostics did not adhere to the orthodox teaching. Possibly one reason was that many of the Gnostic leaders, particularly Simon Magus, were of Greek or Samaritan heritage, and within these heritages polytheism and feminine deities were known and accepted, also they knew Hebrew. Therefore they kept the feminine meaning of the Holy Spirit which remained in their sacred writings and interpretations.

In The Sacred Book one reads:

…(She is)…the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit…  She became   the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, the mother-father  [matropater]…

In the Gospel to the Hebrews, Jesus speaks of “my Mother, the Spirit.” Again, in the Gospel of Thomas “Jesus contrasts his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, with his divine Father–the Father of Truth–and his divine Mother, the Holy Spirit.” And, in the Gospel of Philip, “whoever becomes a Christian gains ‘both father and mother’ for the Spirit (rurah) is ‘Mother of many.'”

In a writing attributed to Simon Magus it states:

Grant Paradise to be the womb; for Scripture teaches us that this is     a true assumption when it says, “I am He that formed thee in thy mother’s     womb” (Isaiah 44:2)…Moses…using the allegory had declared Paradise  to   be the womb…and Eden, the placenta…

“The river that flows forth from Eden symbolizes the navel, which nourishes the fetus. Simon claims that the Exodus consequently, signifies the passage out of the womb and the ‘the crossing of the Red Sea refers to the blood.'” Sethian gnostics explain that:

heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb …and if…anyone  wants   to investigate this, let him carefully examine the pregnant womb of any  living   creature, and he will discover an image of the heavens and the earth.

In scriptural writings we find standing at the foot of the cross at the time of the crucifixion three Marys: the Virgin Mary, the dearly beloved Mary Magdalene, and a more shadowy or mysterious Mary. “The Coptic ‘Gospel of Mary’ said they were all one. Even as late as the Renaissance, a trinitarian Mary appeared in the Speculum beatae Mariae as Queen of Heaven (Virgin), Queen of Earth (mother), and Queen of Hell (Crone).”

Within modern culture these roles of Goddess and Mother are seen to be reemerging. While the psychanalyst Sigmund Freud down played the emergence devotion to the Goddess as infantile desires to be reunited with the mother, his theory was challenged by C.J. Jung who described this emergence devotion as “a potent force of the unconscious.”

Jung theorized that “the feminine principle as a universal archetype, a primordial, instinctual pattern of behavior deeply imprinted on the human psyche, brought the Goddess once more into popular imagination.”

The basis of Jung’s theory rested on religious symbolism extending from prehistoric to current times. His archetypical concept is that it is not “an inherited idea, but an inherited mode of psychic functioning, corresponding to that inborn ‘way’ according to which the chick emerges from the egg; the bird builds its nest;…and eels find their way to the Bermudas.”

The biological evidence of Jung’s archetypical concept indicates the psychological meaning. Although the psychological meaning cannot always be as objectively demonstrated as the biological one, it often is as important or even more important than the biological one. It lies deep within the levels of personalities, and can elicit responses not possible by mere abstract thinking. These responses energize and deeply effect persons. “Jung believed all religions rest on archetypical foundations.”

This does not necessarily mean that all or every religion originated from an archetype, but rather the archetype on which most, if not all, religions were and are based is the deep felt (italics are the author’s) need within the people for their particular religion. This need is what brought forth the religion. There are various views on the causes this need arouse, but “Jungians have espoused the Mother Goddess as an archetype, a loadstone in the collective consciousness of both men and women to be minded of psychological wholeness.”

Many men have expressed the need to return to the Goddess, indicating that this is not only a woman’s search or desire. “English therapist John Rowan believes that every man in Western culture also needs this vital connection to the vital female principle in nature and urges men to turn to the Goddess. In this way men will be able to relate to human women on more equal terms, not fearful of resentful of female power. Perhaps this is how it was in prehistoric times when men and women coexisted peacefully under the hegemony of the Goddess.”

To many men in Neo-paganism and witchcraft sexism seems absurd and trifling. If all men were honest they would admit that they would not be here if it were not for their biological mothers. Sexism immediately disappears when this fact is agreed to. All human beings are sexual, and sexuality propagated, although at times it would seem the Christian Church would have liked to dismiss this fact completely. But, the fact cannot be dismissed because, again, according to Jung this biological fact is also imprinted as the archetypes of anima and animus upon the human unconscious. They represent the feminine side of man and the masculine side of woman. As behavioral regulators they as most important; for with out them men and women could not coexist. When the two unconscious elements are balanced harmony exists, but when there is an unbalanced over masculinity or femininity is exerted.

Most people admit we currently live in troubled, if not, perilous times. Both our species and planet are endanger of extinction. Our customary religions and governments seem stifled if not helpless to solve all of the enormous problems which confront us. Perhaps many are feeling the urgent need to cry for help to the Good and Divine Mother asking her to please clean up her children’s mess, or wipe up their split milk before it’s too late.

The Introduction & History of Our Goddess

The Introduction & History Of Our Goddess

 Introduction

In Neo-pagan Witchcraft the Goddess is the very essence or central figure of the Craft and worship. She is the Great Mother, representing the fertility which brings forth all life; as Mother Nature she is the living biosphere of both the planets and the forces of the elements; she has roles of both creator and destroyer; she is the Queen of Heaven; and she is the moon. She possesses magical powers and is emotion, intuition and psychic faculty.

The Divine Force within the Goddess is believed to be genderless, but within the universe it is manifested as male and female principles. Often within the worship of the Divine Force the Goddess, or the female principle, is emphasized to the exclusion of The Horned God, or the male principle. But, theoretically both are recognized.

The Goddess has many facets, names and aspects. Although in witchcraft and Neo-paganism she is mainly worshiped in her aspects of the triple Goddess: Virgin, Mother and Crone.

History

Goddess worship dates back to Paleolithic times. Many anthropologists speculate the first “God ” or gods of the peoples were feminine. This coincides with ancient creation myths and beliefs that creation was achieved through self-fertilization. Within the concept of creation the participation of the male principle was not known or recognized yet. The Goddess was believed to have created the universe by herself alone.

From this belief came the agricultural religions. It was thought that the gods only prospered by the beneficence and wisdom which the Goddess showered on them. Evidence appears to indicate most ancient tribes and cultures were matriarchal.

Although this maybe true, there seems to be little evidence that the feminine portions of these societies held themselves superior over their male counterparts. Generally Goddess worship had been balanced by the honoring of both the male and female Deities. This is illustrated by the belief in and the observance of the sacred marriage of the Sky God and Earth Mother in many global societies.

Among the first human images discovered are the “Venus figures,” nude female figures having exaggerated sexual parts that date back to the Cro-Magnons of the Upper Paleolithic period between 35,000 and 10,000 BC.

In southern France is the Venus of Laussel which is carved in basrelief in a rock shelter. This appears once to have been a hunting shrine which dates to around 19,000 BC. In this carving the woman is painted red, perhaps to suggest blood, and holds a bison horn in one hand.

Also in Cro-Magnon cave paintings women are depicted giving birth. “A naked Goddess appears to have been the patroness of the hunt to mammoth hunters in the Pyrenees and was also protectress of the hearth and lady of the wild things.”

Other female figurines were discovered dating back to the proto-Neolithic period of ca, 9000 – 7000 BC, the Middle Neolithic period of ca. 6000 – 5000 BC, and the Higher Neolithic period of ca. 4500 – 3500 BC. Some of these figurines were decorated as if they had been objects of worship. In black Africa were discovered cave images of the Horned Goddess (later Isis, ca. 7000 – 6000 BC). The Black Goddess images appeared to represent a bisexual, self-fertilizing woman.

During the predynastic Egyptian period, prior to 3110 BC, the Goddess was known as Ta-Urt (Great One) and was portrayed as a pregnant hippopotamus stand on her hind legs.

The Halaf culture around the Tigris River, ca. 5000 – 4000 BC, had Goddess figurines associated with the cow, serpent, humped ox, sheep, goat, pig, bull, dove and double ax. These things were known to the people and became symbols representing the Goddess.

In the Sumerian civilization, ca. 4000 BC, the princesses or queens of cities were associated with the Goddess. A king was associated with God.

Throughout the eons of history the Goddess assumed many aspects. She was seen as the creatress, virgin, mother, destroyer, warrior, huntress, homemaker, wife, artist, jurist, healer and sorcerer. Her roles or abilities increased with the advancement of the cultures which worshipped her.

She could represent a queen with a consort, or lover. She might bear a son who died young or was sacrificed only to rise again representing the annual birth-death-rebirth cycle of the seasons.

Throughout the centuries the Goddess has acquired a thousand names and a thousand faces but most always she has represented nature, she is associated with both the sun and moon, the earth and the shy. The Goddess religion, usually in all forms, is a nature religion. Those worshipping the Goddess worship or care for nature too.

It might be acknowledged that author Barbara G. Walker made two comments concerning the thousand names of the Goddess. The first is that “Every female divinity in the present Encyclopedia may be correctly regarded as only another aspect of the core concept of a female Supreme Being.” The author’s other comment is, “If such a system had been applied to the usual concept of God, (giving him the different names and titles which people throughout the centuries have attributed to him), there would now be a multitude of separate ‘gods’ with names like Almighty, Yahweh, Lord, Holy Ghost, Sun of Righteousness, Christ, Creator, Lawgiver, Jehovah, Providence, Allah, Savior, Redeemer, Paraclete, Heavenly Father, and so on, ad infinitum, each one assigned to a particular function in the world pantheon.”

Both comments may be considered correct when it is recognized that humankind is only able to speak of God, the Supreme Being and the gods in anthropomorphic terms. As it has been noted elsewhere, the human mind is unable to comprehend any godhead without the aid of anthropomorphism. But, many people such as Simon Magus have gotten themselves in serious trouble when calling God by another name. The early Church Father Hippolytus condemned Simon for referring to God as the Infinite Force.

The beginning of the Hebrew religion with its God Yahweh is said to have marked the end of the Goddess’ Golden Age. Approximately this was between 1800 – 1500 BC when the prophet Abraham lived in Canaan.

The Christian Church, and especially the Roman Catholic Church, has fought hard to suppress or root out all Goddess worship. The Goddess along with all pagan deities were labeled as evil. But, little proof has been offered for this. One notable example is The Canon Episcopi.

Even though the Church attempted to completely abolish Goddess worship it never successfully did so. Remanents of it remained within the hearts of the people. An example of such devotion is seen within the actions of the people during the Church Council of Ephesus (432 AD). Until Christianized Ephesus had been a sacred city where the Divine Mother was worshiped by “all Asia and the world” (Acts 19:27). Also in this city of Ephesus, as elsewhere, she was called Mother of Animals. “Her most famous Ephesus image had a torso covered with breasts, showing her ability to nurture the whole world.” During this council of bishops people rioted in the streets demanding the worshipping of the Goddess be restored. The prime candidate was Mary, the Virgin and Mother of Christ. The bishops conceded so far in allowing Mary to be called the Mother of God, but the forbade her to be called Mother Goddess or Goddess.

To the very present many, both Catholics and especially Protestants, wonder why Catholics have a great devotion toward the Virgin Mary. Few know the occurrences at Ephesus, and that this devotion is probably the long surviving remanent of their early ancestors’ devotion to the Goddess.

The Goddess and The God

The Goddess and The God

Author:   Danielle.dyer   

The Goddess has been worshipped as a Triple Deity -Maiden, Mother, and Crone (Dark Mother, Wise Woman, The Hag) – from the beginning of religion. The numbers three, and multiples of three, are sacred in many ancient cultures. The priests of Babylon taught that three was a lucky number as well. In the writings of Pythagoras, we find that the philosopher called three a “triple Word, ” meaning that using the number three in particular circumstances, such as repeating spells and rituals three times, can create whatever is held in the mind of the user.

Later in history, the alchemist Paracelsus associated the number three with gold; to alchemists, gold was not so much a physical metal as a symbol for spiritual enlightenment. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tsu said that three is the perfect number, for it engenders all things. In numerology, the number three represents creativity, activity, and knowledge.

Ancient Mystery Schools always had three main steps or degrees through which the student must pass. Today, we still find this idea of three degrees of knowledge used to designate a Witch’s progress in a coven.

We can understand this trinity better if we compare it to the three stages of human life: youth and puberty, adulthood, and old age. Since the Goddess’s power is all encompassing She will present aspects that speak to all humans, regardless of their age. These esoteric ideas cover and comfort from birth to death and beyond.

The first Goddess aspect is the Maiden. This phase holds the matrix of creation, which will produce and create when the time is ripe. She is matter and energy held in suspension until the right time arrives. The Maiden, sometimes called the Virgin or the Huntress, represents the Spring of the year, the dawn, fresh beginnings of all life, the repeating cycle of birth and rebirth, the waxing moon and the crescent moon, enchantment, and seduction. Her traditional color is white. She is the Way-Shower, the Guide through the inner labyrinth to the Divine Center where the greatest of spiritual Mysteries lie.

The second Goddess aspect is the Mother. This is the matrix in motion, the archetype involved in active creation. In humans, the physical desire, the mental will and concentration, and the spiritual balance and understanding are all necessary to produce a desired result. It is easy for humans to identify with the Mother aspect, for they see the Mother around them in all human and animal mothers. The Mother aspect of the Goddess represents the Summer, blazing noon, reproduction, and fertility, the ripeness of life, the Full Moon, and high point in all cycles. Her traditional color is red, the color of blood and life itself. She is the Great Teacher of the Mysteries.

The last aspect is the crone, also called the Dark Mother, the Old Wise One, or the Hag. Since this aspect symbolizes death and dissolution, it is frightening to many people. Everything in the universe has a life cycle, at the end of which they malfunction, decay, and transform into a different set of materials, elements that are recycled and reformed into something new. In humans, the soul is recycled by the Crone and her cauldron into a new incarnation. The Crone represents winter, the night, the universal abyss where life rests before rebirth, the gateway to death and reincarnation, the waning moon and the New Moon, and the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. Her traditional color is black, and sometimes the deepest of purples or dark blue. She is the Initiator into the Mysteries.

The fact that She is a single archetype plus a trinity of aspects makes Her very complex. It is impossible to reduce the Goddess’s spiritual form and meaning to words on paper. She is the beginning, the ending, and everything in between.

The Horned God has been recognized and worshipped as far back as the Stone Age, where we find paintings of horned, ithyphallic men. The Horned God is not the Christian devil. We find the image of the Pagan God in the Egyptian god Amun-Ra, with his ram’s horns and in the Greek Great God Pan, with his goat horns and hooves. Among the Celts, the Horned God was called Cernunnos. This deity was sometimes linked with the Otherworld, particularly the Underworld section, and reincarnation.

In the original myths concerning the God, one finds him as the co-creator, vital companion, and mystical priest of the Goddess. His prime purpose is to join with Her to create order out of chaos, substance of spiritual matter, and life from universal energies swirling in the dark abyss. His next purpose is to carry out Her will and see that Her laws are obeyed.

The God is also frequently seen in trinity form, although, like the Goddess, His more complex that this simple definition. The three aspects are the Divine Child, the Son/Lover, and the Sacrificed Savior/Lord of Death. Even though these three aspects are the most important, the God has many others: Sky-Father and Ruler of the Heavens, Lord of the Forest and Animals, the Supreme Healer, the Trickster, God of Judgment, the Great Magus or Magician, God of the Waters, and the Hero-Warrior.

As the Divine Child, the God represents beginnings and the start of new cycles. This includes new hope and new opportunities, physical as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual. His traditional color is the dark green of plant life. The Divine Child is the signpost of the inner spiritual journey we each must take, the sign that says, “begin here.” We begin as a child, taking the first tentative steps along an unknown and unfamiliar path that leads to a mystical destination that is difficult to understand until we reach the end.

The Son/Lover aspect symbolizes maturity and responsibility, the desire to take into account the needs of others more than oneself. The God in this aspect balances sexual desire and need with companionship and tenderness. His traditional color is red, the color of the life force and the birth fluids. Combined with the powers of the Goddess, He shows us that there must be a blending of different energies to create. This creation includes ideas, inventions, and the arts. He is the Companion on our spiritual journey, the one who points out the path if we start to go astray.

The Great Rite of Wicca is connected with the Mother aspect of the Goddess and the Son/Lover aspect of the God. Those outside the Wiccan religion can misunderstand this Rite. The Great Rite has its roots in the ancient Sacred Marriage between priestess and King, which dates back to the Neolithic era. Originally, a king or tribal ruler could not hold the office unless he wed the Goddess. He had to be a Chosen One, either appointed by the High Priestess of the tribe’s religion, or have passed certain stringent tests. This esoteric, spiritual marriage was symbolized by actual nuptials between the would-be king and the High Priestess of the Goddess or the land, which included sexual rites.

Today, Wiccan groups usually practice this Rite in symbolic form, rather than in actuality. The symbolic act is the dipping of the athame into a cup of wine or juice during a ritual (the cup symbolizes the womb of the Goddess and the athame the phallus of the God) . Some Witches believe that the priestess should dip the athame into a cup of wine or juice held by the priest. However, you can reverse this, with the priestess holding the cup and the priest using the athame. If the Great Rite is physically performed, it is in private and between a husband and wife, high priestess and priest.

The Sacrificed Savior/Lord of Death aspect of the God can be difficult to understand as the dark aspect of the Crone. Mystery Religions frequently were connected with the Sacrificed Savior, who gave his life so that spiritual knowledge and enlightenment could come into the world. This aspect of the God always resurrected and lived again, reminding us that everything is recycled and that human life reincarnates. The Greeks used the word soter for Savior; soter means “one who sows the seed.” In mythology, the Sacrificed Savior was reborn of the Earth Mother aspect of the Goddess.

The Lord of Death was originally the Lord of Comfort for the souls who rest in the abyss before rebirth. At the will of the Goddess, He gathers souls at the proper time and guides them to the afterlife, while comforting those who fear or are in pain. Under His Celtic guise of Lord or the Wild Hunt, the God sees that karmic debts are paid and that destiny is fulfilled. In this, He is the equivalent of the Greek goddesses, the Erinyes. However, unlike the Erinyes, who relentlessly and mercilessly hunted down those guilty of the breaking of blood laws, the Lord of the Hunt makes certain that the souls He seeks are ready for the transition, that they are in the right place at the right time to meet their destiny.

Although His appearance and actions are fearsome, this aspect of the God is actually one of great compassion. His traditional color is the black of the abyss in the Underworld, the temporary black of death that absorbs and erases pain and suffering. He is the Gate-Keeper, who tests our worth before we are allowed to enter the deepest Mysteries.

A Blessed Sunday Morning, my dear Brothers & Sisters!

Good Morning all my precious family! I hope this Sunday morning fines you all doing well. I have had something that has been eating at me all week. I have had several mainstream religion individuals, including pastors and priests, write me in regards to our Religion. None of the letters were bad. In fact, they were very surprising. The pastors and priests expressed interested and curiosity about our Religion. They said it had always fascinated them but they did not want to come out and reveal this to their congregations. I can’t say that I blame them, it would be like me telling you I was a Baptist (you better no that is not true !). They all said they never expected for me to write them back. Truthfully, I have saved their letters in our email account. One day, when the Goddess gifts me with Her words, I will write back.

The mainstream individuals write for another reason. They want to join our Religion but they are scared. Scared that there is no Goddess, no Summerlands, no Reincarnation, NOTHING! They are scared if they turn to our Religion and forsake their own they will go to hell. The very first letter, I ever got like this stumped me. I had never been around anyone who came right out and said they were scared to convert to our Religion. I was dumbfounded to say the least. After careful thought and asking the Goddess to help me, my answer to them were…..

“My dear friend,

I don’t know if I can easy your fears or not, but I will try. I wonder why, if you are scared of our Religion, would you ever consider turning to the Goddess. I came to the realization something is missing in your life. The mainstream religions are not filling that emptiness you feel. The longer you go the bigger the emptiness feels and then it turns into a feeling of being lost. Something is missing and you want to know what.

First off, let start with your fear of going to hell. In The Craft, we have no  concept of hell nor the devil. I would venture to say you have been in your religion all your life. From the time you were a little baby till now. You were never given the choice of your own religious practices, you assumed the practices of your parents. You went to Sunday school and church every time the door was open. You might not have even known there was other Religions till you got grown. But you are grown now and seeking, seeking what you don’t know. But that emptiness has to be filled.

There are thousands of Religions in the world. I cannot say which one is right or which one is wrong. As many as there are I can’t believe they are all wrong. It would be a very cruel God that only chose one Religion and left the rest to rot. I cannot guarantee you The Craft is the right Religion. I am only the messenger. I can, however, testify to what I have seen the Goddess do and the ability She has given me. The Goddess, to me is a Divine Being of Endless Love & Mercy. She is my mother. In my Religion, I have three mothers, my maternal mother who has passed on, my Deity and my Holy Divine Mother. What other Religion can say that? We have Laws and Ethics we live by. Most people don’t realize that but we do. My personal opinion on this or that being the right or wrong religion, I still can say. I am betting on Witchcraft to be the Right One. Just as any Baptist is betting on theirs being the right one. The Pentecostal are betting on theirs also. If you will stop and look at all these religions, the Gods/Goddesses they speak of, are merciful, loving, kind, understanding and most of all it is repeated over and over, we are their children. With all those Religions, I can believe only one is right. I believe in their own aspects all of them are right. My personal belief is if you find a Religion that calls to you. Then go to it. Don’t be afraid, never be afraid of the Gods, they love you no matter what. That Religion you take up will have guidelines how to live, follow them. Lead a moral, up-standing, ethic life and believe no merciful God or Goddess would ever turn you way.

I am not going to lie to you, I would love for you to come and experience the Goddess and Her Religion. I believe if you do you will find similarities between our Religion and the Christian religion. You see our Religion is the oldest Religion on Earth. The early Christians liked some of our practices so well they adopted them for their own use. And we are suppose to be the evil ones!

What you have been led to believe about Witchcraft is untrue. Put your fears aside and found out for yourself what is drawing you to our Religion. I already know what it is, it is our Goddess. I know the Path I have took has been full of many joys and much happiness. I hope you will come to know these things also.

You will never be alone, dear friend. The Goddess is around you everywhere.

Blessings, Peace & Comfort,

Lady Of The Abyss

(Sample letter)

Pagan Musings (A Wonderful Read for All Pagans)

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Pagan Musings

Tony Kelly of the Selene Community in Wales wrote these words in 1970. Modern Paganism still draws inspiration, unity, and peace from these words. Blessings upon you all…please read, and enjoy…

We’re of the old religion, sired of Time, and born of our beloved Earth Mother. For too long the people have trodden a stony path that goes only onward beneath a sky that goes only upwards. The Horned God plays in a lonely glade for the people are scattered in this barren age and the wind carries his plaintive notes over deserted heaths and reedy moors and into the lonely grasses. Who knows now the ancient tongue of the Moon? And who speaks still with the Goddess? The magic of the Land of Larine and the old Pagan God shave withered in the dragon’s breath; the old ways of magic have slipped into the wells of the past, and only the rocks now remember what the moon told us long ago, and what we learned from the trees, and the voices of grasses and the scents of flowers.

We’re Pagans and we worship the Pagan Gods, and among the people there are Witches yet who speak with the Moon and dance with the Horned One. But a Witch is a rare Pagan these days, deep and inscrutable, recognized only by her own kind, by the light in her eyes and the love in her breast, by the magic in her hands and the lilt of her tongue and by her knowledge of the real. But the Wiccan Way is one way. There are many; there are Pagans the world over who worship the Earth Mother and the Sky Father, the Rain God and the Rainbow Goddess, the Dark one and the Hag on the mountain, the Moon Goddess and the Little People in the mists on the other side of the veil. A Pagan is one who worships the Goddesses and Gods of Nature, whether by observation or study, whether by love or admiration, or whether in their sacred rites with the Moon, or the great festivals of the Sun.

Many suns ago, as the pale dawn of reason crept across the Pagan sky, man grew out of believing in the Gods. He has yet to grow out of disbelieving in them. He who splits the Goddess on an existence-nonexistence dichotomy will earn himself only paradoxes, for the Gods are not so divided and nor the magic lands of the Brother of Time. Does a mind exist? Ask her and she will tell you yes, but seek her out and she’ll elude you. She is in every place, and in no place, and you’ll see her works in all places, but herself in none. Existence was the second-born from the Mothers womb and contains neither the first-born or the unborn. Show us your mind and we’ll show you the Gods! No matter that you can’t for we can’t show you the Gods. But come with us and the Goddess herself will be our love and the God will call the tune. But a brass penny be your reason!, for logic is a closed ring, and the child doesn’t validate the Mother, nor the dream the dreamer. And what matter the wars of opposites to she who has fallen in love with a whirlwind or to the lover of the arching rainbow.

But tell us of your Goddess as you love her, and the Gods that guide your works, and we’ll listen with wonder, for to do less would be arrogant. But we’ll do more, for the heart of man is aching for memories only half forgotten, and the Old Ones only half unseen. We’ll write the old myths as they were always written and we’ll read them on the rocks and in the caves and in the deep of the greenwood’s shade, and we’ll hear them in the rippling mountain streams and in the rustling of the leaves, and we’ll see them in the storm clouds, and in the evening mists. We’ve no wish to create a new religion of our; religion is as old as the hills and older, and we’ve no wish to bring difference together. Differences are like different flowers in a meadow, and we are all one in the Mother.

What need is there for a Pagan movement since our religion has no teachings and we hear it in the wind and feel it in the stones and the Moon will dance with us as she will? There is a need. For long the Divider has been among our people and the tribes of man are no more. The sons of the Sky Father have all but conquered nature, but they have poisoned Her breast and the Mother is sad for the butterflies are dying and the night draws on. A curse on the conquerers! But not of us, for they curse themselves for they are nature too. They have stolen our magic and sold it to the mindbenders and the mindbenders tramp a maze that has no outlet for they fear the real for the One who guards the path.

Where are the Pagan shrines? And where do the people gather? Where is the magic made? And where is the Goddess and the Old Ones? Our shrines are in the fields and mountains, in the stars and in the wind, deep in the greenwood and on the algal rocks where two streams meet. But the shrines are deserted, and if we gathered in the arms of the moon for our ancient rites to be with our Gods as we were of old, we would be stopped by the dead who now rule the Mother’s land and claim rights of ownership on the Mother’s breast, and make laws of division and frustration for us. We can no longer gather with our gods in a public place and the old rites of communion have been driven from the towns and cities ever deeper into the heath where barely a handful of heathens have remained to guard the old secrets and enact the old rites. There is magic in the heath far from the cold grey society, and there are islands of magic hidden in the entrails of the metropolis behind closed doors, but the people are few, and the barriers between us are formidable. The old religion has become a dark way, obscure, and hidden in the protective bosom of the night. Thin fingers turn the pages of a Book Of Shadows while the Sunshine seeks in vain his worshippers in his leafy glades.

Here, then, is the basic reason for a Pagan Movement; we must create a Pagan society wherein everyone shall be free to worship the Goddesses and Gods of Nature, and the relationship between the worshipper and her Gods shall be sacred and inviolable, provided only that in her love of her own gods, she doesn’t curse the names of the gods of others.

It’s not yet our business to press the lawmakers with undivided endeavor to unmake the laws of repression and, with the Mother’s love, it may never become our business for the stifling tides of dogmatism are at last already in ebb. Our first work, and our greatest wish, is to come together, to be with each other in our tribes for we haven’t yet grown from our Mother’s breast to the stature of the Gods. We’re of the Earth, and sibs to all the children of wild nature, born long ago in the warm mud of the ocean floor; we were together then, and we were together in the rain forests long before that dark day when, beguiled by the pride of the Sky Father, and forgetful of the Mothers’ love, we killed her earlier-born children and impoverished the old genetic pool. The Red Child lives yet in America; the Black Child has not forsaken the Gods; the old Australians are still with their Nature Gods; the Old Ones still live deep in the heart of Mother India, and the White Child still has a foot in the old Wiccan Way, but Neanderthal is no more and Her magic faded as the Lilt and Archon burst their banks and the ocean flowed in to divide the land of Erin from the land of the White Goddess.

Man looked with one eye on a two-faced God when he reached for the heavens and scorned the Earth which alone is our life and our provider and the bosom to which we have ever returned since the dawn of Time. He who looks only to reason to plumb the unfathomable is a fool, for logic is an echo already implicit in the question, and it has no voice of its own; but he is no greater fool than he who scorns logic or derides its impotence from afar, but fears to engage in fair combat when he stands on his opponents threshold. Don’t turn your back on Reason, for his thrust is deadly; but confound him and he’ll yeild for his code of combat is honorable. So here is more of the work of the Pagan Movement. Our lore has become encrusted over the ages with occult trivia and the empty vaporing’s of the lost. The occult arts are in a state of extreme decadence; astrology is in a state of disrepute and fears to confront the statisticians sword; alien creeds oust our native arts and, being as little understood as our own forgotten arts, are just as futile for their lack of understanding, and more so for their unfamiliarity. Misunderstanding is rife. Disbelief is black on every horizon, and vampires abound on the blood of the credulous. Our work is to reject the trivial, the irrelevant and the erroneous, and to bring the lost children of the Earth Mother again into the court of the Sky Father where reason alone will avail. Belief is the deceit of the credulous; it has no place in the heart of a Pagan.

But while we are sad for those who are bemused by Reason, we are deadened by those who see no further than his syllogisms as he turns the eternal wheel of the Great Tautology. We were not fashioned in the mathematician’s computations, and we were old when the first alchemist was a child. We have walked in the magic forest, bewitched in the old Green Thinks; we have seen the cauldron and the one become many and the many in the one; we know the Silver Maid of the moonlight and the sounds of the cloven feet. We have heard the pipes on the twilight ferns, and we’ve seen the spells of the Enchantress, and Time be stilled. We’ve been into eternal darkness where the Night Mare rides and rode her to the edge of the Abyss, and beyond, and we know the dark face of the Rising Sun. Spin a spell of words and make a magic knot; spin it on the magic loom and spin it with the Gods. Say it in the old chant and say it to the Goddess, and in her name. Say it to a dark well and breathe it on a stone. There are no signposts on the untrod way, but we’ll make our rituals together and bring them as our gifts to the Goddess and her God in the great rites. Here, then, is our work in the Pagan Movement; to make magic in the name of our gods, to share our magic where the gods would wish it, and to come together in our ancient festivals of birth, and life, of death and of change in the old rhythm. We’ll print the rituals that can be shared in the written word; we’ll do all in our power to bring the people together, to teach those who would learn, and to learn from those who can teach. We will initiate groups, bring people to groups, and groups to other groups in our common devotion to the Goddesses and Gods of Nature. We will not storm the secrets of any coven, nor profane the tools, the magic, and still less, the gods of another.

We’ll collect the myths of the ages, of our people and of the Pagans of other lands, and we’ll study the books of the wise and we’ll talk to the very young. And whatever the Pagan needs in her study, or her worship, then it is our concern, and the Movement’s business, to do everything possible to help each other in the worship of the gods we love.

We are committed with the lone Pagan on the seashore, with he who worships in the vastness of a mountain range or she who sings the old chant in a lost valley far from the metaled road. We are committed with the wanderer, and equally with the prisoner, disinherited from the Mother’s milk in the darkness of the industrial webs. We are committed too with the coven, with the circular dance in the light of the full moon, with the great festivals of the sun, and with the gatherings of the people. We are committed to build our temples in the towns and in the wilderness, to buy the lands and streams from the landowners and give them to the Goddess for her children’s use, and we’ll replant the greenwood as it was of old for the Dryad stillness, and for love of our children’s children.

When the streams flow clear and the winds blow pure, and the sun never more rises unrenowned nor the moon ride in the skies unloved; when the stones tell of the Horned God and the greenwood grows deep to call back her own ones, then our work will be ended and the Pagan Movement will return to the beloved womb of our old religion, to the nature goddesses and gods of Paganism.

Wishing You A Very Blessed Wednesday Morn, Dear Brothers & Sisters!


Good Wednesday Morning, my dear, dear family! Do you know how precious you are to me? I would say I am going to start saying that every day but half of you would run, lol! So maybe once every week or so, how’s that?

This morning I realized how precious everything I have is. How I have been blessed by the Goddess. What I have taken for granted. You might be wondering what made me come to this realization, it was a TV news story. The story shattered my heart. It was about a man who had been out of the country when the Typhon hit the Philippines.  He had no communication with any of his family. He didn’t know if they were dead or alive but he was on a train on his way home. What awaited him, he didn’t know? Thank the Goddess, all his family survived. But they had no place to live they were homeless.  As I watched the tears roll down that man’s face, it hit me. That could easily be me or you or any of us. I live on the New Madrid fault line. I cannot imagine an earthquake destroying everything here and I am trying to get back home to my family. The horror ran through me. Not knowing if my kids were alive, not knowing if my husband was alive, not knowing if I had a place to call home.  What horror!

The Goddess did touch my heart this morning. I experienced all the feeling the man on the train had and I also experienced my searching for my own family. I cried like a baby. Needless to say, it is our time to start taking some responsibility or at least mine. I know one of our foremost missions from the Goddess is to help mankind. The people in the Philippines need our help. They are in a very desperate situation. We must step up. And we are. You will notice the Raffle items this month are expensive items, very expensive items. I did that on purpose to raise money to send to the Red Cross for their relief effort in the Philippines. 75% of all money received will go to the Red Cross for that exact purpose. I have found a very trusted corporation that is directing money specified for that purpose alone. I trust this company or else I wouldn’t be doing this. I wish I could send a 100% of all the money we collect this month but we have to survive ourselves. I hope you will contribute to the Raffle because this month it is for a very worthy cause, life, human life, what could be a greater cause.

This is only the start, I would like for anyone that knows the address of their local food banks, homeless shelter, etc., to send them to us. We are not going to desert our own people. We would never do that. From now on, every Raffle that we have, 75% of the money raised will go to a food bank, a homeless shelter or some other needy and worthy cause you can think of. Perhaps we can start making a difference in this world. And by doing so, we will be helping our fellow man and the Goddess’ children.

Please help by donating to the raffle, I will provide a receipt were I have donated the money to the Red Cross. Also if you have the name and address of any food banks or homeless shelters in your areas, I want them. If you have any ideas or organizations that need help, let us know.

Thank you and May the Goddess Bless You Threefold,

Lady Abyss & The WOTC

Embraced by the Goddess

Embraced by the Goddess

Author:   Elwin Shadowstrider   

Originally I was planning to place this in my Book of Mirrors, as you see; I changed my mind for many reasons. Some were to let others know of a beautiful life-changing event that forever changed me. I felt that to some it may help, for others maybe just to remind them of when they first set their own two feet on their Path.

Without a short background some of this will not make any sense at all, I will not go into gory detail. Some things are very tragic, some of those things I draw a great deal of strength from. However, my childhood was beyond horrible, abuse was prevalent, both physical and mental abuse. A great deal seems to come from Stephen King’s worst nightmares.

I have been asked many times by those who know me well how I did not become badly damaged goods…I attribute that to strength of will. I refuse to give up, especially when I know there are greater things out there than what I have to experience at that moment in time then. In time, I proved myself right, as you will see.

I was forced as a child to attend church; I really had no interest in going. They never could answer my questions to my satisfaction. The usual Cain slew Abel, then where did his wife come from if there were only four people on this planet at that time? Many explained that it was more than likely his sister, which I went up in flames then. Letting them know that only last week we were told that was forbidden to lie with your sister or brother. Or was it just holier then than it is now? You get the picture; I was seven when this took place.

My parents were begged not to bring me back to Sunday school. They said that I asked questions that no normal seven year old should ask, and that I should take more on “faith” and to be still and be quiet when the teacher was talking. I felt they were legitimate questions and still do, no pastor or otherwise could ever answer what I asked.

Many referred me to so and so apologetic pastor or seminary college since I was so questioning within the “faith”. Faith, no, I wanted clear concise answers as to WHY these things I was to take on “faith” had to not be asked. Too many holes within their stories and parables, I wanted straight facts that they were not equipped to give.

My teen years were pretty much the same; I was honestly kept as a house slave or servant, I was allowed no bed of my own, any furniture, and the least expensive clothes they could find and was told that it was “good” for my soul.

That got really old really quick, I grew up in Miami, Florida, and I had no air conditioning in my room either. The rest of the household had everything; this is just to give you an idea. By now, I had finally begged and cried to this “god” for deliverance, anything, just I wanted out of this household.

I begged for many years, all I got in return was silence…no answers.

I thought at first maybe I was “imperfect”, a “sinner” and god wanted nothing to do with me; just like everyone else in my life then. My despair began to grow to stellar heights, just what was I supposed to do? I left my Dad’s house when I was sixteen; I refused to put up with it any longer.

As the years passed as years will, I occasionally begged “god” for help, by now, I have been begging for years, still, no answer. I sought “help” from pastors; I got the usual praying over, and one even suggested performing an exorcism on me to cast out any “evil spirits” that might have taken up residence within.

Being that my family is from central Ireland we were brought up to trust and believe the clergy. Mostly Catholics, a few Protestants, was what ran in my family. I never could understand just how they could take so much on faith and let it go at that.

I was the one who always read everything, but my favorites still to this day is the “Sword and Sorcery” type epics that I learned so much from. I was the cast off, the one who believed that the Elves still existed and Dragons were around the next corner; during what free time I could steal away I walked the woods, searching for something, just what I never knew then.

What I didn’t know was that our beloved Green Man was whispering to me all that time. There were days I could almost hear what He was saying, almost; but not quite getting it.

Often, I just shrugged my shoulders and continued on, learning what so many just didn’t see. To learn of beauty, to know some small peace in my life. To see animals as more of my friends than Man, to know trees, to breathe in what I needed. In these times I didn’t feel lost at all, I felt at home then.

Here I will leave the past behind, these memories are very painful in ways, but I learned how to be what many never do, Human. To know the fullness of sorrow, anger, and hatred is something I do not recommend to anyone. Better to not know the fullness of what those emotions can do to a person, the hardness in can put in place of what should be someone’s heart.

This is when I looked back on my life, and wanted to know why, just why, “god” never answered me. Why my life was, so far, was so cold inside, why can’t I be happy like so many others here in this world?

Despair grew yet again, yet despair this time was very deep. It lasted for many months instead of just a few days.

I once again went to begging “god” for answers, help, anything; just one answer is all I required, just one. It never came, that answer. Finally, I broke down, after thirty-six years of fighting I broke down.

I gave up, entirely. I had nothing else to believe in.

Yes, I do have a wife and son; I do have family of my own. I love them both very dearly. I wanted faith. I wanted faith to believe in myself, to believe that when this path here on earth is over there is something other than nothing. As I said, I broke down, I wanted nothing anymore, and I gave up.

With that, I began the soul wrenching crying that signified total defeat; “god” wasn’t there. I was truly lost, and that’s what broke my heart more than anything. I was lost.

During this time of defeat, a PRESCENSE is the only way I could begin to describe it. Something unbelievably beyond me, something that radiated Love, I really gave in then. I felt as if I should know who this was, but for some reason I didn’t.

Then in a voice that was VERY female, soft, full of understanding and infinite Love spoke to me, ” Why do you weep? Why is your heart so heavy within your breast? Where is the laughter that I love to hear from you? Where are your smiles?”

I was dumbfounded, I could only answer, “I am lost, god doesn’t answer me, I am alone here, and I want faith in the universe around me.”

She laughed, not a mocking laughter, one full of understanding, and Love. “I have known your ancestors, the Celts, I know you. Why is it you don’t know me?”

I answered, ” My lady, I don’t know you I wish I did, I am tired of not knowing anything.”

She answered, ” So you shall, you are my child, none other’s, you are my son. Love shall be yours.”

At that moment, all the years of hatred, anger, sorrow, animosity, and narrow-minded beliefs fell away, replaced by Love. I fell to crying out of sheer joy and happiness.

At that, she laughed again, full of mirth, and joy that I did remember who She was at last. As I lay there my Goddess embraced me, not in the spiritual sense, it was very physical, yet I couldn’t see Her.

Her embrace was like nothing I have ever known in my life, for just one moment here on this plane of existence, I knew what it was like to Love all, to realize that Love was all my Goddess wanted from me; that and my laughter, my happiness.

Since that day, the Wiccan Rede is indelible upon me. I will harm NONE. I became a vegetarian; I refuse to harm anything, even so much as a bug outside.

My son (Goddess Bless him) came to me not two weeks ago and asked what was making me so happy, why I laughed at nearly everything now. I want to tell him, he’s only eleven, and I won’t alter his Path in life. When he gets a little older and he asks again, then I will tell him.

Just three days later, flying in the face of tradition, I gave myself to my Goddess. It’s been only five weeks from that wonderful day. I oath bound myself to Her, and laughed with Her when she accepted me as her child.

After the turn of events in the beginning of my life I had indeed proven myself right, that there are greater things out there. You just have to look in the right place sometimes.

There may be a few others out there who may have experienced something like this. I do not know, I do not claim to know. I know what gift was given to me, and that gift will be cherished until I see my Goddess yet again.

Please understand I have no hatred for the Christian religion. I have left hatred behind, and that is no longer who I am. I have many friends who are Christians; they know that I am a Witch, a Wiccan. They also know that I will never turn away from my Goddess; they know I will lovingly tell them that I have found my Path if they begin to preach at me.

I have also lost a great deal of friends who were too judgmental and walked away from me. Some of those were indeed painful, many were very good friends. Their children played with my son quite often, now I have yet to see them again.

I am at Peace with their choice; they too have a Path they must follow. As any Pagan, I just send them my Love from time to time. Many of my relatives also have nothing to do with me now, that too I have taken in Peace.

It is somewhat difficult to convey what exactly has happened to me. My life was filled with so much negative energies that I never believed that something such as this could really happen. Life has truly begun for me, to feel Love as never before, to Love all that I see. To feel the sense of the Spirit’s whisperings in all that is around me, to know and see indescribable beauty in all that my eyes behold.

The most fun part is to finally hear the Green Man’s laughter, to hear His dancing steps, to know His Love for all things that grow. I know who He is as well, no longer just whispers that I can’t quite catch, to hear His voice is truly wonderful. To also hear God’s voice in laughter with the Goddess’ laughter as I take my first tentative steps in Life, my heart is full.

There are days I wonder if I can really Love more than the day before, the answer is yes. Goddess, YES! Tears of true joy fall these days; the Goddess has embraced me. I have just scratched the surface of what I will know before I must return to Summerland.

I also no longer fear to die, I actually look forward to the day when I can return to all that knows me, to see those whom I know. To find so many there waiting for my return. I will also state I don’t think I will return to Mother Earth, I will stay in Summerland.

I know that I may return if I wish, however; I will stay. There is work to do there as well.

In closing, yes, I am indeed VERY new to Wicca; I have learned what Wiccan Pride is truly all about. I have learned what Love really is, what Peace, true Peace really is.

I have also learned what Magick is all about. Magick in one word, WOW! I had no real idea of what can be done; it’s real, and its mind blowing of what we can do with it.

I will leave you Sisters and Brothers here, know that one more Wiccan has joined your ranks. Thanks for taking the time to read of my experience with the Goddess. Know that She Loves us all; no matter what Path we take.

Merry Meet, Merry Partings until we Merry Meet again.

Abundant and Brightest Blessings to all,

Elwin Shadowstrider ) O (

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Celebration of the Goddess of Reason

magick89

November 10th

Martinmas Eve, Celebration of the Goddess of Reason

The old Pagan festival of Nincnevin, later Martinmas Eve, honored the Goddess Diana and her entourage. At Martinmas, the Germans celebrate this time by feasting on wild geese and then using the breast bone of the last goose to predict the weather for the coming months. It is believed that if the breast bone be fair and clear when the flesh has been eaten off it, the weather will be cold and full of hard frosts. However, if the breast bone is dark then the winter will be full of rain, snow, and sleet but warmer overall.

During the French Revolution, this day was celebrated with a parade through the streets of Paris. A young woman was chosen to represent the Goddess, and led the processional to the cathedral of Notre Dame, considered a center of learning, whereupon she was presented with a crown of oak leaves. It was hoped that the festivities would make the people aware of the importance of learning.

 

THE GODDESS

THE GODDESS

The Goddess is the universal mother. She is fertility, endless wisdom and love. She is all aspects of nature, harmful and helpful. Wiccans acknowledge both aspects of Her nature.   The Goddess has three aspects; The Maiden (Anu, Elaine, Blodeuwedd), The Mother (Badb, Arianrhod, Margawse), and The Crone (Morgan LeFey, Cerridwen, Macha). The Maiden is innocence, Springtime, renewal, youth, dawn and the continuation of all life. The Mother is the richness of life, nurturing, Summer, the day and a teacher. The Crone is darkness, night, the rest before the continuation of life, wisdom, counsel and reincarnation. Each of these aspects shows different stages of a women’s life, and each can be placed with the phases of the moon; The Maiden being the waxing moon, The Mother the full moon and The Crone the waning moon. (2)

The Goddess of the Wicca is the Great Goddess. She is the Ground of Being, the Mother of All Living; the Creatrix, and the Destroyer, for She is ever Dual. She is the Earth Mother, the Lady of the Moon, and the Star Goddess. She is Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth, and Queen of the Underworld. She is the Triple Goddess: the Virgin, the Bride, and the Hag, called the Three Mothers in Celtic regions.

The three aspects of the Triple Goddess are usually described as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone; it must be remembered that the connotations of age associated with those titles derive from the experience of humans, who are subject to age and death; the Goddess is eternal: ever-changing and ever self-renewing, She will be young or old as She pleases.

As the Virgin, She is the Creatrix, the Lady of Birth and Death, the Star Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, the Giver of Inspiration, the Initiatrix.

She is Diana, Lady of the Moon and the Wild Things, Ever Virgin unto Pan: virgin unto the All, and therefore wed to None.She is also the Virgin Mother; and Her blue and white colors, and title “Queen of Heaven”, were borrowed by the Catholic Church for the Virgin Mary. Hers are the Waxing Moon, Venus as Morning and Evening Star, and all the vast starry realm; Her sacred color is White.

As the Bride, She is the Preserver, the Lady of Growth and Fertility, the Earth Mother, the Goddess of flocks and herds, Lady of Love and Fruitfulness and the fertility of the land; as Goddess of the Land She is also the Goddess of Sovereignty, and it is only by Sacred Marriage to Her that the King holds the right to the Throne. Hers are the Full Moon, the Earth, fruits and flocks and fields; Her sacred color is Red.

As the Hag, She is the Destroyer, the Lady of Decay and Death, the Goddess of Night and the Underworld, and also the cave and the tomb. For that which is born must also age, and decay, and die; and out of that which is dead and decaying arises new fertility, for life feeds ever on life. She is the Sow who eats Her own young, the “Nightmare Fertility and Death in One”, the Great Necessity by which the food chain and the cycle of life continue. Hence She is also the Goddess of regeneration. Hers is the Waning Moon, the dark night, the silence of the shadows, the midnight crossroads, and the wailing of the widow; Her sacred color is Black.

The Goddess is the Queen of all Witcheries: She is the Enchantress, the Shape-Changer; She is Isis, the “Lady of the Words of Power”; She is Cerridwen, the Sorceress at Her Cauldron; She is Hecate, the Mistress of the Magick of the Dark Moon. She is the Great Lady. She is the Goddess.

Excerpt from:

Wiccan’s One Universe

Wiccan and Witchcraft – Questions and Answers

Wiccan and Witchcraft – Questions and Answers

Author:   Gentle Deer Lion Tamer  

This is a compilation of questions that I have been asked over the past few years, and my answers to each. I hope that this provides a better and clearer understanding about Witches, Wicca, Witchcraft, Pagans and The Craft, and helps eliminate some of the misconceptions that are floating around rampantly.

Q. Are Wicca and Witchcraft the same thing?

A. Some say yes, and some say no. I suppose the only way to navigate this question safely is to point out what some may consider the main differences. In general, Wiccans feel free to review different belief systems, such as Celtic, Norse, Essene, Gnosis, or Shamanism, along with many other Paths, and then blend together any points that “feel” right into their own personal path. Pure Witchcraft on the other hand, may focus a little more tightly on using Magick and ritual to work with the elemental and spiritual forces in nature. Regardless, I feel the differences are slight in that Wicca and Witchcraft both work to achieve balance and harmony within nature and one’s self.

Personally, I follow a predominately Celtic Shamanic Wiccan path. As time passes, I find myself increasingly drawing upon the wisdom and beliefs of other spiritual paths as my knowledge and understanding of them increases. So, when asked I’ll tell you I’m a Witch, I also consider myself a Wiccan and Shaman because I utilize and blend aspects of them all.

On the other hand, some that I know have the same belief concepts as I do, on many levels, yet call themselves Christian and even Muslim among other various Paths, and would not ever call themselves witches.

Q. Who do Witches Worship?

A. There is a single power defined as the One or All, which is composed of everything it has ever created. This supreme energy force does not rule over the Universe, it IS the Universe. Since most find it difficult to talk to or call upon a faceless mass of Divine energy, this supreme power is personified into male and female aspects as the Goddess and God. This simply makes the concept easier for the human mind to comprehend and relate to. Some take this concept a step further and use actual names, like Astarte, Isis, Odin, Pan, Diana, Cernunnos, etc., when invoking the Goddess and God. In the end, it is a personal preference and what a Witch uses depends on what “feels” right for them individually.

Q. How do Witches view Christianity? Are Witches Anti-Christian?

A. Not necessarily. Witchcraft, overall, is very tolerant of other religious views, and does not engage itself in criticizing the beliefs of other people, providing that their beliefs do not violate the basic tenant of “Harm None.” Witches do object to religions that attempt to suppress the religious beliefs of others, or every human’s right to seek spirituality in their own way. This is why there is a slight rub between Wiccans, Pagans, Witches, and some Christians. Many of them feel they have exclusive rights to the Divine. We also have a strong disdain for those who use religion as an excuse to commit mass genocide. The “Burning Times” are a clear historical example of one religious group attempting to exert its philosophies and beliefs upon others using extreme measures.

Perhaps an over simplified way of describing our view is this: Imagine a beautiful meadow in the forest, and there are many paths leading to this meadow. It really does not matter which path you take to get there, the important thing is that you get there without harming anyone or anything along the way.

Q. Can I follow the path of Wicca or Witchcraft and be a Christian too?

A. Again, some say yes, and others maintain that they are completely separate religions. I believe that if one looks closely at the true teachings of Jesus with an open heart, you will find some stark commonalities. (In reality, in my personal opinion, Jesus was an excellent example of a true Pagan.) It is only when one takes literally the sometimes-frail misinterpretations of those who misunderstood the intent or used the teachings to suit their own political agendas that one see’s wide differences.

As a solitary you are free to choose any path you desire, or any blend that “feels” right to you. The important thing is to not allow a name or word to become a stumbling block. It is the intent of your actions, thoughts and spirituality that matters in the end. I incorporate Native American traditions/healings/ceremonies within what I do at a spiritual and healing level. Ultimately you must do what “feels” right to you…

Q. The Wiccan Rede says “An it harm none, do as ye will.” Does that mean a Witch can do anything they want and its okay if they justify the action to themselves?

A. An excellent question indeed! And the answer is no… The whole premise of our belief system is based on living in harmony with all things that exist. This includes, but is not limited to the earth, trees, rivers, lakes, oceans, air, and all of earth’s creatures, as well as other people without regard to race, color, religion, or sexual orientation.

My interpretation of the Rede tells me that the creative force of the universe has given me an inner voice, or “conscience, ” which tells me what is right or wrong. It is also this consciousness that connects me to the Divine. By listening to this inner voice, (Perhaps I should clarify here. No I do not hear voices, it is more like something I feel) I try to analyze my impulses and feelings to ensure they are not driven by greed, lust, envy, prejudice or anger. If they are, I try to put them in perspective or discard them all together. I then use common sense and judgment in my actions and accept full responsibility for them. This is not always easy to do, but I try. By keeping these ideals of right and wrong foremost in my mind, as well as seeking to obtain harmony and balance with nature and all living things, I am able to do my best at following the Rede as I go through my day.

This is not to say that Witches are perfect, never do anything wrong, or make mistakes. We are still human. We are aware of, or try to be aware of the karmic return of our actions, and are very careful not to send out negative energy in thought or deed.

Yes, sometimes a Witch will focus an energy form toward someone who needs a psychic zap. This is only done however when a person is consistently doing something very wrong within society and causing a lot of harm to others. If and when a Witch does zap someone, they do so with the full knowledge that it will eventually return to them and there will be a price to pay according to the Law of Three. There are times when we simply must make a personal sacrifice for the good of the whole and shoulder this weight.

When confronted with this type of situation, I prefer to bring this person to the attention of the Goddess, asking her that justice be done according to her will. In this way I am not focusing negative energy towards the individual and therefore am less likely to suffer karmic repercussions.

Q. If Wicca and Witchcraft are not evil, why do you wear black robes?

A. This is another baseless superstition and Witches wear clothing and robes of every color. Black is the combination of all colors and all vibrational rates of light on the material plane. It is known that black is a very good conductor of energy, therefore wearing black simply helps Witches absorb natural energy to increase the power of their thought forms. Some Witches wear nothing at all (skyclad) when performing ritual.)

Q. Okay, so if Wicca and Witchcraft are not evil, why do you hold rituals and ceremonies at night hidden in the woods?

A. This practice has its history in a couple of different things, none of which have anything to do with evil… In the old world, especially within the Celtic tribes, the day followed an entirely different schedule than it does in modern times. The new day for them actually began at sunset. This is also why most observances of holidays were celebrated on the evening before the actual calendar day. The second reason is that survival had an entirely different meaning during those times. Almost without exception, everyone spent their daylight hours tending the crops, their herds, or engaged in their trade. All daylight hours were vitally important simply for survival reasons.

Okay, so that takes care of why we observed our rites at night during ancient times, and many of the reasons are the same in today’s times. For one, most of us are busy working all day earning a living, so the evening is the only time we have to seek spiritual communion. Secondly, Wicca and Witchcraft are still largely misunderstood religions and we are still persecuted for our beliefs. Another reason that is important for me, and possibly for others as well is that I feel a special closeness to the Goddess and God at night. Yes I can, and do, enjoy the mountains and meadows during the daylight, or a sunrise and sunset, but I am truly more aware of the heavens and the great expanse of the Universe at night, so it just makes sense for me.

Q. What form does the practice of Witchcraft take?

A. The form and context vary from group to group, and between each ritual, and may run the gamut from elaborate ceremony to spontaneous ritual to simple meditation.

Q. How do you see the Goddess and God?

A. Wiccans believe that there are female/male aspects to the One or All and without the union and balance of these two aspects, nothing can exist. Read the answer to question number two for more on this.

Q. Do all Witches practice their religion the same way?

A. Yes and no. Wicca is a highly individualistic religion. Moreover, the number of different sects within the Craft may give the impression that no two groups practice the same way. Though practices may vary, most traditions have many similarities, such as the working of magick and a respect for nature. Most Witches find enough common ground for mutual support and productive networking throughout the Craft community.

Q. Is Witchcraft a cult?

A. No. Cults are groups that trade a sense of salvation and belonging for the ability to think for oneself. They indulge in extravagant homage or adoration (Webster’s Dictionary) , usually of an earthly leader of some sort. If you know a real Witch, you’ll quickly come to find the term “Cult” could not apply to us. Most Wiccans, Witches and Pagans come to the Craft individually through reading and communing with nature. They often will remain solitary in their beliefs but other will also find like-minded people to celebrate seasonal cycles or monthly moons with. Witches are extremely individualistic, self-sufficient and defend the right of free will without hesitation.

Q. Do Witches have a bible?

A. No. A bible is supposedly the word of a deity revealed through a prophet. Witchcraft is a Pagan folk-religion of personal experience. Witchcraft in the old times was much the same as the beliefs of the Essenes, Gnostics, Druids, and many other religions. The teachings were passed along by spoken word through long periods of one-on-one instruction with an Elder of the Craft. This approach was taken because the power and knowledge could be misused in the wrong hands. Therefore, by using only the spoken word, the old masters could ensure those who wished to follow the path had a true understanding and their hearts were in the right place as their knowledge of the mysteries grew. Unfortunately, when the medieval church began its attempts to convert and eliminate rival belief systems, the teachers were either killed outright or went underground resulting in much of the ancient knowledge being lost.

Q. If Witches don’t have a bible, what do you use?

A. Most modern Witches keep a Book of Shadows, (BOS) or Grimoire, which is more like an individual’s workbook, journal, or diary, meaningful to the person who keeps it. This book contains rituals, discoveries, spells, poetry, herb lore, etc. Covens almost always keep a similar group book. I am not exactly sure how the name “Book of Shadows” came to be, but I would assume that this also ties into the Burning Times when the church set out to eliminate all texts along with the followers of the old ways. The writings that existed were more than likely were taken into the shadows and hidden with the survivors.

Q. The word Tradition is used quite often. What is the exact meaning of this?

A. Here the word Tradition relates to the beliefs of a specific geographical region such as Celtic, Germanic, Norse, Gardenarian, Alexandrian, Dianic, etc., and is sometimes broken down into further subsets. Essentially it is much the same as the variety of denominations seen within Christianity, such as Methodist, Mormon or Catholic.

Q. Do Witches cast spells?

A. Some do and some don’t. Spellwork should never be the focus of following this path and those who seek our ways only for this purpose are very misguided. A spell is a ritual formula, or series of steps, to direct psychic energy to accomplish a desired end. This energy is drawn from the Earth with the aid of elementals, concentrated and sent out into the world to achieve a positive goal. Since Witchcraft teaches that whatever one sends out is returned threefold, Witches are very careful to never send out harmful energy carelessly. The Christian word for this is “Prayer”. The only real difference is that Witches also invoke the aid of spirit guides, familiars or other elemental energies to add strength to the process as well as using ritual tools.

Q. Do Witches worship the devil?

A. No. Satan, or the Devil, has absolutely no place in Wicca or Witchcraft. The worship of Satan is the practice of profaning Christian symbolism and is thus a Christian heresy, rather than a Pagan religion. The Goddess and God of the Witches are in no way connected to Satanic practices. Satan, or the Devil, does not belong to our pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. Satan, or the Devil, is a Christian creation.

Q. Are Witches only women?

A. No, although women do seem to predominate in the Craft overall. In fact, some traditions have only women practitioners, just as others have only men. A male Witch is simply called a Witch, never a warlock and it is considered an insult to call a male Witch “Warlock”. The word “Warlock” actually means “oath breaker”. Some traditions of Wicca separate between female/male. The word “Wicce” pronounced (Wik-kay) designates a female Witch and “Wicca” pronounced (Wik-kah) designates a male Witch.

Q. How do Witches view Sex?

A. Sex is part of nature and sacred to the Deities and Witches. Just like everyone else, we think it’s wonderful. The Great Rite at Beltane is a symbolic representation of the union between the Goddess and God resulting in the creation of all that exists. Very few, if any, traditions engage in sex as a part of group rites and there are no orgies during ritual. Many couples that have chosen each other, and jointly follow the path, do use sex magick in their private rites and rituals, however. It is a deeply intimate sharing of body, spirit and soul, which bonds them together, closer than anything else can.

Q. What is the purpose of performing ceremonies Skyclad?

A. The term skyclad means “Clad only by the sky”. Not all Witches perform rituals skyclad, but there are those who believe that the absence of clothing allows energy to transfer to and from them more freely. Many simply feel closer to the Goddess and God while in their natural form without the bindings of human technology, insecurities or socially retarded inhibitions regarding the human form. Many wear a robe or some other clothing made of natural materials while participating in group activities and go skyclad only when observing rites alone or with their mate. Regardless, going skyclad during ritual is in no way a sexual act, it is a deeply spiritual one for those who “choose” to do so.

Q. Is Witchcraft a religion?

A. Yes, Witchcraft is a nature based religion and it has been recognized as such in the United States and Canada. In the U.S., Wicca has full recognition as a religion and is granted all rights as such under the Constitution. The American Heritage Dictionary defines religion as “a belief in and reverence for a supernatural power recognized as the creator and governor of the universe”. So yes, it does qualify as such. Our definition differs slightly in that to us, the Creator of the universe IS the universe. Witchcraft, or Wicca, is not something that can be followed once in a while or when it is convenient or we need or want something. It is a dedication made to nature, the deities and yourself. It is a way of life, and as such we are mindful of the balance between ourselves and all things within the universe at all times.

Q. How do Witches view death?

A. Many Witches believe in reincarnation and the Summerland. After passing over, Summerland is where the spirit awaits to be returned into a new physical form. We do not believe in an absolute Heaven or Hell where the spirit spends eternity as reward or punishment for ones earthly actions.

Q. How can someone find out more about Witchcraft?

A. Ours is not a missionary religion, and we never try to make converts. We feel that if this path is right for you, you will find your way to it. We are, however, becoming more visual and vocal in an attempt to educate and dispel myths and superstitions about the Craft. You need not worry about a Witch knocking on your door and wanting to come in and share passages from their BOS. For those who are interested there are many excellent books available in libraries and online. Some Witches also teach classes or facilitate discussion groups. In this way, people may make contact with a like-minded Coven, form their own groups or share thoughts and beliefs with others. There are also a growing number of superb craft sites on the Internet, periodicals, and national and regional festivals through which a seeker can make contact with the larger Craft community.